The government on Wednesday ruled out the resignation or dismissal of Union Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti for her controversial remarks even as a combined Opposition held up proceedings in Parliament for the second day in a row.
Maintaining that the issue was settled with her apology, senior ministers said it was up to the Opposition to find a way out of the imbroglio.
'Issue settled with apology'
“There is no question of her resigning,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said in the Rajya Sabha and cited precedent. He said a former UPA minister had used unparliamentary language while referring to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee while sitting Lok Sabha member Tapas Pal asked Trinamool Congress workers to rape Communist activists in West Bengal.
“No one resigned,” Mr. Naidu said, adding that in both cases it was the leadership which had apologised.
While no business could be conducted in the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition picketed the well of the Lok Sabha through question hour, which was adjourned briefly. The Opposition not only wanted the Minister’s resignation but also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the issue. Mr. Modi, who spent the question hour in the Lok Sabha, did not respond.
Mr. Naidu questioned the Opposition for raking up the issue in the Lok Sabha after settling the matter on Tuesday with the Minister’s apology. With Mr. Pal present in the House, the reference to his remarks by the Minister brought BJP’s women members on their feet, matching slogan for slogan.
As the government toughened its stand in the Rajya Sabha, BJP MPs stood up to Opposition members who trooped into the well raising slogans leading to adjournments. As the pandemonium continued, the House was adjourned for the day.